This information about Positive Self-Talk for medication withdrawal and recovery has been reprinted with permission from MIA Blogger Baylissa Frederick. The original can be found here at her Recovery Road website.
This is much more powerful than you could ever imagine. Learning to speak positively or to use affirmative statements during withdrawal is extremely empowering. This has been the experience of many who have tried it. How you speak to yourself during withdrawal will strongly influence how well you cope. Being aware of your inner dialogue and gently changing a negative thought to a constructive and positive counter-thought is a good way of remaining optimistic.
Contrary to what some believe, there is nothing mystical or ‘new agey’ about this. We all use affirmations every day, whether we acknowledge that we do or not. A negative thought is as much an affirmation as a positive one. Repeatedly saying or thinking: This symptom just won’t go away, or I feel terrible are classic examples. Even the common ‘Affirmations don’t work’ is in itself an affirmation.
If nothing else, on a cognitive level, affirmations drown the worry thoughts and make room for more positive ones that fuel health and well-being. Even if you are unable to connect with your feelings because of emotional bluntness, instead of the energy going to thoughts of fear and dread, the focus will be on your healing and you will benefit.
Feeling your affirmations can be extremely powerful. The more energy you but into saying them, the better. By the time you’ve repeated a few affirmations, you will notice an amazing energy shift and the fear will be replaced by a knowing or acceptance that you are going to be well again. Despite the symptoms being present you will be responding differently. This is because you are now resonating with how you want to feel rather than being overwhelmed by fear and a focus on how you do not want to feel. This coping technique is very effective.
Try to get into the habit of noticing your thought patterns – not obsessively – just gently being aware of the worrying, anxious ones. (This works for withdrawal-induced thoughts as well.) Once you identify thoughts straying towards the symptoms, concerns or other fears, you can gently acknowledge them and, without judgement, say something such as: “It’s okay that I’m having these thoughts. I also know I am getting better.”
Here are a few positive affirmations. You can also make up your own. Affirm only what you want and don’t mention the symptoms; the focus is on wellness.
~ ‘My mind is sound and my body is healthy.’
~ ‘I am getting better and better each day.’
~ ‘I am grateful for my healing.’
~ ‘It is normal for me to be well.’
~ ‘Every nerve, cell, tissue, organ and muscle of my body is now repaired and healthy.
~ ‘I radiate perfect health.’
Sometimes it can be challenging to believe that such a simple technique can be so powerful. The man mind is indeed powerful and it is good that we can choose our thoughts. As you begin to explore the use of affirmations and they start to feel ‘right’, you will feel lighter. A fun element will creep in where you end up enjoying using them in every area of your life.
There are many other techniques which are proven to help with managing anxiety, insomnia, depression and other conditions for which antidepressants and benzos are prescribed. Below are a few ideas and resources which we hope will help you to find a useful, drug-free way of coping. Those listed here are reported to help with anxiety and stress related issues. The links have been included so you can check them out if interested.
The Linden Method, Autogenics, Transcendental or other forms of meditation, Diaphragmatic Breathing as shown above, Alternate Nostril Breathing, Dr Benson’s Relaxation Response.